Amazon ushers the 4K revolution forward with pre-orders for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs

amazon first 4k ultra hd blu rays preorder the martian kingsman secret service 05
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Multiple Ultra HD Blu-ray players made their debut at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, and now early adopters can start ordering the disks that will play on these devices. Amazon recently made numerous 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray films available for pre-order, heralded by the home video release of The Martian, which has a release date set for March 1.

The latest format supports high dynamic range (HDR) technology to provide a much higher contrast between the light and dark images on screen, as well as more vivid colors. Matching that technology with Ultra HD resolution makes for the best picture quality available in a personal home theater system. Pricing is slightly higher than a standard Blu-ray, as one might expect. However, it’s not the super-premium you might expect: The 4K Ultra HD version of The Martian, for example, is set at $30, compared to $20 for standard Blu-ray.

Other films currently available for pre-order on Amazon include Kingsman: The Secret Service, Exodus, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Each of the titles are priced at just $30, and set with a March 1 release date, lined up dangerously close to the expected release of the new line of Ultra HD Blu-ray players, such as the $400 Samsung UBD-K8500, available for pre-order now.

The release briefly flew under the radar, with select titles offering a new category in the ordering pane, simply marked “4K.”

As HD Reports points out, all of the new releases available on Amazon so far appear to be from 2oth Century Fox, with Wild, The Maze Runner, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Hitman Agent 47, and Fantastic Four also available.

While 20th Century Fox’s collection is the first we’ve seen available for pre-order, Warner Bros., Sony, and Lionsgate have all announced a slate of Ultra HD Blu-ray releases. From Warner Bros., we can expect action films such as Mad Max: Fury RoadSan Andreas, and Man of Steel. Sony Pictures has slated The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Salt, Hancock, Chappie, Pineapple Express, and The Smurfs 2. And for its part, Lionsgate has announced Sicario, The Last Witch Hunter, Ender’s Game, and The Expendables 3. So far, only 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate have announced March 1 release dates. Sony and Warner Bros. may follow suit in the near future.

With 4K Ultra HD televisions becoming more popular (not to mention more affordable) and Ultra HD Blu-ray players on the way from Samsung, Panasonic, and Phillips, it will be interesting to see if viewers bite on the fancy new optical format, or settle for the convenience of streaming and other digital options.

Deals

Amazon drops price of 65-inch Sony 4K Smart TV by $300 for March Madness

You can get a fantastic 65-inch Sony LED TV for $300 off right now, in what's best described as the perfect TV deal to lead you and your living room into this year's March Madness tournament.
Deals

Building a 4K home theater? Grab a discounted Denon A/V receiver from Amazon

Denon makes some of the best 4K A/V receivers on the market, and a handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon now. If you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost…
Mobile

Sony's Xperia 10 smartphone boasts a 6-inch screen and is now available

Sony took the wraps off of three new phones at Mobile World Congress 2019, including the new Xperia 1, which is the company's new flagship phone and the first with a 4K OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on TCL’s already affordable 4K Roku Smart TVs

If you're on a budget, some of the fancier models might seem way out of reach, but that doesn't mean you can't still get a solid TV at an affordable price. Amazon is dropping TCL 4K TV prices as low as $250 right now.
Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what movies and shows are leaving in April 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for April 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Home Theater

Pandora now lets you mess with the secret sauce for its music playlists

Pandora introduced a new feature called Modes, allowing subscribers to pick between six different algorithms that determine what the popular music streaming service will decide to play.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Movies & TV

Study up for season 8 with the best Game of Thrones theories

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still on the horizon, meaning there's still time to brush up on the best theories about the show. Whether you're one of the last adherents of the Cleganebowl or a King Aerys truther, here are our top theories.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Home Theater

Apple’s new AirPods bring only minor updates to the much-loved originals

Apple has announced its new AirPods, the much-anticipated follow-up to Apple's wildly popular AirPods. With optional wireless charging and hands-free Siri, it's a minor update, but a welcome one.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Product Review

Simple and reliable, Apple's AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds

Apple’s AirPods wireless headphones have dominated the market essentially since they hit stores in December 2016. Though not without some faults, they cracked the connectivity code to rank among the best fully wireless earbuds you can…